Chapter

Prescriptive Language

R. M. Hare

in The Language of Morals

Published in print March 1963 | ISBN: 9780198810773
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597619 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198810776.003.0001
Prescriptive Language

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Following an introductory classification of prescriptive language that emphasizes the parallel between imperatives and moral language, this chapter distinguishes between the indicative and imperative moods of language (sentences that are called ‘statements’ and ‘commands’ respectively). It then dismisses various attempts to account for imperatives, particularly their reduction to indicatives as well as expressivist theories like Ayer's and Stevenson's.

Keywords: Ayer; commands; expressivism; imperatives; indicatives; moral language; prescriptive language; statements; Stevenson

Chapter.  5374 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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